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Agricultural News

Canola Crop Blooming, Needs Moisture to Reach Yield Potential in Oklahoma and Kansas

Wed, 08 Apr 2015 16:20:35 CDT

Canola Crop Blooming, Needs Moisture to Reach Yield Potential in Oklahoma and Kansas The following Canola Crop overview is provided by Heath Sanders, Canola Field Specialist with the Great Plains Canola Association

Crop Conditions:
Southern TX - Canola is in full bloom with adequate soil moisture. The crop was relatively tall before it began bolting and blooming, overall crop height will be tall as well. The crop looks really good.

Northern TX and Southern OK - Canola is blooming with some soil moisture. The crop has good height and appears that it will be taller in size when compared to past years. The area received some moisture the past week which will continue to aid with flowering and pod development.

Central OK - Soil moisture conditions remain adequate. The canola crop has bolted and is in the early stages of blooming. The area did receive some moisture last week but distribution was erratic. The much appreciated moisture will assist in blooming progress.

Northern OK - Southern KS - Soil moisture conditions continue to be extremely dry. The canola crop is stressed due to the lack of plant available water. The crop is bolting and also at the early stages of blooming. The crop at this point appears that it will be short in stature. This area has not received much or if any moisture this winter and spring.

Freezing Temperatures -

On the morning of April 4th temperatures dropped well below freezing for portions of northern OK and southern KS. The Oklahoma Mesonet recorded some areas had 7-8 hours below freezing and the lows reaching 23 degrees. The winter canola crop was at the early stages of flowering so physical injury may be seen throughout the field which can consist of twisting of stems and branches. After a freeze event the canola racemes will often have a skip of pods and this is due to the cold temperatures that freeze the flowers and restrict pod set. The recommendation at this point is to wait and see how the crop responds to the environmental conditions and allow it to repair itself if possible.

Hail Damage -

Canola has the ability to bounce back and re-flower granted moisture and environmental conditions are conducive for plant recovery. Yield potential may be hindered and crop maturity will be delayed, but given time the crop can repair itself and produce a respectable yield. Recovery is most successful in early to mid-bloom.

Canola Insects -

Cabbage aphids were spotted in southern Texas in mid-March. I have seen minimal activity at this point from northern, TX up through Oklahoma and Kansas. Producers need to be scouting and paying attention to the canola buds and flowers. Check in the buds of canola for aphid numbers. If 15% or more of the racemes are infested with aphids than a foliar insecticide application is needed. Aphids can be on the lower leaves and migrate to upper most portion of the plant.

Producers also need to keep an eye out for the Diamond Back Moth larva. The small worms can bore holes into the bud flowers and when the flower opens up the flower will detach and pollination will not occur resulting in a blank pod on the stem.

Environmental conditions can also cause pods to abort. Producers need to continue to scout and monitor the crop and protect the reproductive portion of the plant to maximize seed production. This is a critical stage for a canola plant and growers will need to monitor and stay crop aware of their fields.

Field Notes/Summary:

As I have traveled from, south to north, soil moisture has been more prevalent in Texas and Southern Oklahoma but not in the western portions of Oklahoma. Planting dates, varieties, moisture and the amount of leaf tissue lost overwinter has regulated plant growth and the current growth stage throughout the southern Great Plains. The areas that have received beneficial rain throughout the winter and portion of this spring appear to have good yield potential at this point in time.

The drought stricken areas need significant moisture. If these areas were to receive proper rain amounts the crop has time to add yield and produce a good crop. Since canola is an indeterminate crop it has the ability to utilize the moisture if or when it becomes present. Adequate rains at this point in the plant's life cycle will definitely benefit the crop. If the region remains dry for another 2-3 weeks, then yield potential decreases drastically.

2015 OSU Winter Canola Field Tours - Oklahoma State University will be hosting canola field tours scattered throughout Oklahoma starting on April 14. There will be nine stops over four days April 14-17th. OSU Extension Canola Specialist Josh Bushong and other Extension and Industry experts will discuss crop progress, insects, harvesting, and overall challenges with 2015 winter canola crop. Click here for more information, includes dates, times and locations of field tours.

2015 Canola Harvest Clinics - The Great Plains Canola Association and Oklahoma State University, in cooperation with Kansas State University and Texas Agri-life Extension will be hosting Canola Harvest Clinics throughout the southern Great Plains region. These events will begin with a classroom session that will provide an overview of canola crop staging, harvest preparation and methods. We will continue the meeting outside to discuss harvest equipment and set up. We look forward to providing you with the best harvesting management decisions for a successful harvest. Seven harvest clinics will be offered in Texas, Oklahoma and Kansas. Harvest clinics begin on April 28th in Haynesville, Texas and continue until May 21st in Harper, Kansas.

For more information contact Heath Sanders at bhsanders@ymail.com



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